UW Carbone Cancer Center funding, top-tier designation retained

The UW Carbone Cancer Center will retain its designation as the state’s only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, getting $27 million in renewed funding over the next five years.

“All cancer centers go through this every five years,” explained Susan Smith, media relations manager at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. In compiling this review, scientists from the NCI evaluate both the impact of ongoing research and the amount of external funding secured.

Nationwide, there are 69 NCI-designated cancer centers and 49 are official Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Carbone was one of the first six to get this designation when it was first awarded in 1973.

Howard Bailey, director of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, says this ‘Comprehensive’ designation reflects improvement on “every metric that measures the value of a cancer center,” including research and care.

Outside of the money going directly to cancer research, Bailey says the center spends about $20 million per year for the organizational infrastructure that makes the research possible.

He says the funding linked to this designation is “an important component” of that, as it makes it easier for Carbone to funnel money raised or received from donors directly into research.

And though he says Carbone was never in danger of losing the accreditation, he notes that “doing well does amount to us getting more money.”

–By Alex Moe